The flow utility of unemployment plays a crucial role in labor search and matching models. Recent evidence by Chodorow-Reich and Karabarbounis suggests that the flow utility is high on average, volatile, and strongly procyclical. Taken together, these facts imply that labor search and matching models perform worse than prevailing conventional wisdom. In contrast, we build a model where unemployed workers choose between home production and job search. Procyclical job search implies that the effective unemployment benefit is countercyclical. Our results suggest that omitting endogenous search will upwardly bias the measured correlation between effective unemployment benefits and productivity.
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